pumpkin pie

As you know, if you’ve been reading this blog, we recently celebrated Thanksgiving (read about it here) in an unconventional way. But yesterday, after reading in my forum about another magnificent sounding traditional Thanksgiving feast, we realized the error of our ways. I mean really, how can Thanksgiving be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?

We had everything required for making the pastry. We had eggs and sugar and spices. We looked into the cupboards to see if by a miracle we had any tinned pumpkin. No. Rats.

But there was a tin of evaporated skim milk that was just waiting to be made into pie. It seemed like a sign that we really had to continue on our pumpkin pie quest.

So late yesterday morning, we raced to the corner variety store and paid an absolute fortune for their last tin of pumpkin and last container of whipping cream so that we could have pumpkin pie after our dinner of chili con carne, steamed broccoli and cornbread.

As we were putting together the pumpkin mixture, we noted that the evaporated milk tin was quite old looking. And it had little bits of rust forming on top. It hadn’t popped though so we thought it should be okay. Luckily, we poured the milk into a measuring cup first instead of directly into the pumpkin and sugar. Yikes!!! I don’t know that I’ve ever seen curdled evaporated milk. Pretty funky stuff. And what a pong. Down the drain it went.

Now what? Goodness how sad (*cough*), we had to use a combination of 10% cream, water and powdered skim milk instead to make the pumpkin custard… with an emphasis on the cream and a token splash of water and powdered skim milk.

And you know what? That wonderful pie was worth every extra ounce of fat and every penny of the over-inflated price we paid!

After the pie was baked, to atone for the extra calories we would consume that evening, we went for a bike ride through the neighbourhoods, with our noses in the air, seeking out the smells of other people’s Thanksgiving dinners. We were not disappointed. It was a beautiful crisp day and some of the aromas wafting from the houses were so divine and tantalizing, we may just have to go out and buy a turkey and have a latish traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
This entry was posted in baking, cakes, pastries, cookies, etc., dessert, food & drink on by .

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  • ejm

    I’ve never used a pressure cooker to cook pie pumpkins. But I have baked pumpkin in the oven and used it to make pie. And you’re right. Pumpkin pie completely from scratch is really good. But is it actually better than pie made from canned pumpkin? (ie: no other additives in the can) I’m not so sure. I have to say that I found the final taste to be roughly the same between the two.

    And the labour? Well, it’s a LOT less labour to open a can than it is to push pumpkin through a sieve… personally, I don’t think that mashing is enough. Pumpkins are just a little too thready to simply mash. Now maybe if I had one of those hand crank food mills, I’d feel differently.

  • PC_guy

    The beauty of using a new generation pressure cooker is that it is easy to prepare the pumpkin. The pumpkin is basically pureed in the pressure cooker; just need to mash it a little bit — no need to use a sieve. The steam pressure breaks down the pumpkin fibres (in about 4 minutes) so it is not “thready”. The pumpkin is moist when cooked in a pressure cooker — quite a bit different than baked pumpkin.

  • ejm

    That’s cool that the pressure cooker breaks the pumpkin down more than baking does. I’ll have to look into pressure cooker prices (I’m getting a “connection refused” message on the link you supplied)

    My mom had (has??) an ancient pressure cooker. I was always terrified when she was using it and kept expecting that it would explode.

  • PC_guy

    New generation pressure cookers are not like the old noisy “jiggler valve” types and have multiple safety features, which make them very safe.

    The url again was http://fastcooking.ca. It appears to work now.

  • ejm

    Yes, you’re right. That Fagor Duo looks WAY different from the pressure cooker Mom had (has??) It also isn’t cheap… even taking into account the energy savings.

    Here’s an interesting page I found about buying pressure cookers.

    http://missvickie.com/resources/cooksreview.htm

  • PC_guy

    Yep, there are a lot of misconceptions about pressure cookers even among cooking “experts” like Cook’s Illustrated. Well-designed and safe pressure cookers are a little pricey, but they pay for themselves very quickly through the energy and time savings. They also are ecologically friendly because they reduce air pollution via the energy savings. Pressure cookers are widely used in places like France where people like great tasting food. Personally, I use my Fagor Duo nearly everyday. Making a black bean chilli tonight in the pressure cooker and have a chicken/shrimp/sausage/vegetable jambalaya planned for tomorrow. :-)

  • ejm

    Mmmmmm! Sounds good! (I LOVE black bean chilli)

  • CAM

    If you leave the skin on in a pressure cooker, you would have to scrape it and seive it, not to mention removing the seeds etc. And “moist” is not what you want in pumpkin for a pumpkin pie! I’d go with tinned pumpkin unless I had a fresh pumpkin I needed to use up — even then, I think I’d rather just eat the baked pumpkin with my dinner with butter and lots of salt and pepper.